Do Slugs Eat Mouse Poison? (And Attract Rats?)

Most homeowners have had mouse infestations in their homes over time. To get rid of the mice, they prefer to use poison. They mix poison with food baits to entice mice but attract other animals. Slugs are some of those animals. However, do slugs eat mouse poison?

It is possible since slugs have a voracious appetite and eat anything. Although slugs will eat mouse poison, it won’t kill them. However, a mouse or other animal that consumes the poisoned slug will die from secondary poisoning.

Most people will be confused as to how slugs eat mouse poison. This article explains how it can happen, how slugs can eat rat poison, how to stop it from happening, and whether slugs are helpful for your garden. Continue reading to learn more;

Do Slugs Eat Mouse Bait?

Yes, there is a possibility that slugs are eating the mouse bait you are setting up to catch mice. Because they are tiny, slugs can fit atop the mouse trap and consume the mouse bait without setting off the trap. The grain or peanut butter you use in the bait is tasty to the slugs.

Most people lure mice into the trap with food. Chocolates, soft cheese, deli food, pet food, seeds, nuts, and marshmallows are a few of the most popular baits. The majority of these baits are fatty and delicious. The slugs are lured by the smell, making a feast out of them.

The slugs use their powerful jaws and mouths (radula) to eat the mouse bait. The slugs use their radula, a flexible band with 1,000 tiny teeth, to chew on food particles. The jaws help cut off the large portions of the mouse bait.

The mucus left behind proves that the slugs are eating the mouse bait.

Do Slugs Attract Rats?

Rats are opportunistic feeders and love a delicious meal, and the slug provides one. The roof rat is one of the rat species that is super fond of eating slugs. They can even build a nest in an area with a lot of snail supply. Remember that rats are omnivores and perfectly capable of eating plant and animal foods.

If you discover multiple shells in one area, you can easily know that rats are eating slugs. Rats have a huge preference for slugs because of the tiny slug shell’s lack of protection.

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Despite being more frequently seen in the wild, the brown rat consumes more meat than the black rat. It will likely be attracted to your garden by the slugs there. Slugs, insects, freshwater shellfish, shrews, and voles are food sources for brown rats. Rats will invade any place where they can find an easy meal, including homes, gardens, stores, and supermarkets.

Will Slugs Eat Rat Bait?

Yes, slugs seem to have a particular appetite for rat baits. It is common to find out that the bait has been eaten, but you haven’t seen any sign of the rats. Most likely, the slugs came across the bait and decided to have a delicious meal. The bait typically turns off rats because slugs either eat all of it or cover it with their slime. 

Larger slugs might also cause the traps to snap. The bait’s poison does not kill the slugs, which is intriguing. But if a pest or animal eats the poisoned slug, it gets poisoned and dies.

How Do You Stop Slugs From Eating Rat Poison?

Setting a bait to trap rats in your house only to find that it has already been eaten, and not by the rat, can be very frustrating. You won’t have to search far if you notice mucus trails because slugs are almost certainly the cause. You won’t be able to catch the rats and get rid of them if slugs eat the poison set for the rats.

But not to despair; there are several ways you can stop slugs from eating rat poison;

  1. Use slug bait: To catch the slugs before they get to the rat’s bait, you must scatter slug bait around the perimeter of the bait. You can use Sluggo Slug Killer to control snails and slugs.
  1. Alcoholic beverages: Slugs are fond of yeasty beers. Pour a good beer into a shallow container and put it before your rat bait. The slug will enter the container and forget all about the bait. But you must check the container at least once daily to remove the slug. You can use brewer’s yeast dissolved in a bit of sugar water if you have no beer. 
  1. Salt barrier: To prevent slugs from reaching the rat’s bait, sprinkle salt around it. A slug dies from dehydration in minutes when salt pulls water from its skin.
  1. Slug shield: The Slug-Shield is a copper bracelet you can spread around your bait. Copper is toxic to slugs, and they will avoid going near anything with copper. The copper reacts with the slug slime by causing a mild electric shock that sends the slug scurrying off. 
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Do Slugs Eat Snails?

Some slugs are cannibals and predators and have no problem eating other slugs or sn

ails. The leopard slug, also known as the “great grey slug,” is the most well-known slug cannibal or predator. It has black dots on its upper body and is brown or grey. The slug feeds on fungi, rotting, dead plants, other slugs, and snails.

Most slugs are omnivorous and can help you eliminate other garden pests. You will find them beneficial for your garden. 

Other slugs like the arion(lusitanian) slug are not necessarily snail predators but will still eat a dead snail if it comes across it. The arion slug has different species, like the black Rufus arion with a red foot seam. You might also come across a brown arion vulgaris slug. 

Do Slug Pellets Kill Rats?

Yes, slug pellets are poisonous and kill any rats who eat them. Rats usually eat slug pellets after identifying them as a food source or out of curiosity. They will chew through the plastic covers of the pellets and eat the substances inside. Slug pellets are tiny “bullets” with a cylinder shape that are poisonous and can kill slugs or snails

The pellets are spread throughout the garden to prevent slugs and snails from damaging plants.

Slug pellets are a combination of two lethal ingredients, methiocarb and metaldehyde. The two are so lethal that they immediately damage the rat’s brain, nervous system, and internal organs.  

Metaldehyde-laced slug pellets can lead to nervous system failure, paralysis, brain damage, and dehydration. Methiocarb will cause serious respiratory problems in rats.

Rats can also die from secondary poisoning when they eat a slug that has already eaten slug pellets. The poison in the slug system will affect the rat and kill it. It only takes 2-3 days for the rat to die after ingesting the poison-contaminated slug. 

Are Slugs Good For the Garden?

It depends on the kind of species in your garden and the quantity. If it’s the field(netted) slug scientifically known as Deroceras reticulatum, which feeds on living plants, then it’s not good. The other slug species like vegetation. As they eat the dead plants, they will clear up your garden of them. These slug droppings offer your garden nitrogen-rich, mineral-rich fertilizers that improve the soil’s nutrition.

Some believe that slugs are weather forecasters from the ancient garden myth. In the autumn, it is a sign that winter is approaching when slugs dig deep holes in the ground. Impending drought is indicated by slugs digging deep holes in the ground in the summer. Slugs climbing trees is a warning of impending heat.

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Slugs are not the best for your garden for several reasons;

  1. They climb your plants to eat the flower buds.
  2. They will eat fruits just before it ripens.
  3. Slugs like the keel slugs will eat the roots.
  4. They strip off bark from young trees.
  5. The slugs chew small irregular holes in the leaves. 
  6. They spread diseases.

How Do You Permanently Get Rid of Slugs?

Slugs can cause a lot of destruction to your garden. You will need to permanently get rid of slugs if you want your plants to grow well. Slugs eat up to six times their weight material, so you can see how much damage slugs can cause.

The best strategies are those that will work both day and night to ensure no matter what time slugs are active; they can combat them.

Here are a few methods you can use to get rid of slugs permanently;

1. Slug predators

Why not keep some animals that enjoy slugs as a delicacy? Turtles, muscovy ducks, peacocks, or garter snakes(don’t worry, they are not poisonous). Some slug predators can’t be kept as pets like the garter snake, but if you see them near your garden, don’t kill them.

2. Slug traps

The SlugX Trap is one of the easiest and most efficient traps available. The trap has two parts. A lid attached to the trap floats over a beer-filled outer container. The slugs will fall into the inner trap where you can collect them.

Throw the collected slugs in the trash and then put the trap attached to the lid back. The slug inn should have some lager beer which will attract the slugs. The lid keeps the beer from diluting by rain or dirt particles falling in or evaporating. 

3. Pellets for slugs

A slug’s chances of surviving after eating metaldehyde-containing pellets are zero. The pellets typically include 5% metaldehyde and 95% cereal, which serves as an attractant for slugs.

You sprinkle the pellets around your garden. The meta pellets kill the slugs by inducing them to secrete slime. The slugs produce so much slime that they end up dying of dehydration. The pellets work best in hot, dry weather.

Conclusion

It might be hard to eliminate mice, rats, snails, and slugs, especially when they eat each other’s poison or bait. But as shown, you can do it. In addition to using mouse poison or slug pellets, there are other ways to get rid of these pesky pests. 

We also covered methods you can use to stop slugs from getting to the poison and eating the rat’s poison.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is fond of doing all backyard-related work at her home. She loves to take sunbathe and do a barbecue in her free time. She often shares practical tips and friendly expert advice on everything relating to home and yard on this blog. When she is not writing, she goes camping with her husband and little kids.